20 Things I've Learned Before I Turned 20
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20 Things I've Learned Before I Turned 20

Spoiler Alert: Paying Taxes isn't Fun

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20 Things I've Learned Before I Turned 20
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Two decades is plenty of time to at least learn the basics, so I figured I would share them with you.

1. To show emotion.

As a child I was sensitive. I was constantly called a “crybaby” for showing my emotions. I was never one to hold back the urge to cry, and I hated it. So eventually I got over it, and quit crying as much (at least over the things that didn’t really matter.) It wasn’t until recently that I learned that it’s okay to be sad, some sadness doesn’t have a reason..it’s just there, and that's okay. What isn’t okay, is hiding it. Expressing happiness is sometimes just as hard, be happy. Be the happiest you can be, and don't let anyone tear that away from you.

2. That some people are meant to be in your life.

This is important. Fighting the urge to not talk to a friend or a family member because you’re in a fight over who knows what, just isn’t worth it. Stop fighting the urge, pick up the phone and talk to them. Odds are they are in your life for a reason.

3. How to make a great pot of coffee.

As an avid coffee drinker, sometimes 1 cup from a Keurig just won’t do it. Sometimes an entire pot is necessary (not exactly “healthy”, but maybe I’ll learn that before my next birthday.)

4. My goals and aspirations.

I felt lost a lot of the time as a teenager. I am not good at sports, I am not the best at any of the arts, so a lot of the time I felt like I had no purpose. Within these past two years of college, I really have discovered a lot about myself, including my dreams and aspirations. Let me tell you, getting out of bed in the morning is a lot easier now. Which leads to the next thing I’ve learned...

5. I am a morning person.

I don’t know how or why but I’ve discovered that I work better in the morning. I find that the earlier I get up, the more productive I am throughout the day. Although on Saturday’s I tend to sleep in until 1 pm...I still consider myself a morning person.

6. You don’t have to follow what everyone else is doing.

Following the crowd gets exhausting. This leads to less creativity and makes you less of yourself. Be unapologetically you. You are great.

7. How to watch an entire series on Netflix in a month.

I’m not sure if this is something to be proud of, but I can do it. And you can too! Stop doing work and procrastinate more! (Okay maybe don’t do that.)

8. To ask questions.

Asking questions can get tasks done more quickly than “winging it” by yourself. Ask questions, no one knows everything. It’s okay to need some help.

9. Expect constant changes.

There are 7 days a week, and 604,800 seconds within that week. 356 days a year, and the average person has a lifespan of 75 years. Changes are constant, and most of the time they happen in the blink of an eye. Accept that changes happen and learn to adapt to them.

10. To keep a planner.

I used to be very unorganized, I would have one folder for all of my classes and that was it. Sometimes my work wouldn’t even end up in the folder. Once I started working and balancing something other than just school, I realized how important it is to be organized. Now I write everything down, if I don’t write it down in my planner it doesn’t exist in my mind. For the most part, it works.

11. Learning is cool.

Being smart is a good thing, knowing things is a good thing. Not paying attention in class will only put you behind. Learning is fun and never-ending.

12. Overthinking is pointless.

If there isn’t anything you can do to fix a situation, there is no point in dwelling on it. If you can change it, then do it. Act more, think less.

13. To stop apologizing for nothing.


14. That somethings just happen, and there is no explanation as to why.

Tragedies happen, sometimes without a reason. Bad things happen to good people who definitely don’t deserve it. Sometimes these things happen without any explanation. It isn’t our job to explain why. If you can't control it, there is nothing you can do to change it.

15. To say no (and yes more).

I still struggle with this, I am such a people pleaser it’s hard to say no sometimes. I realize that I am only one person and I can’t always please everyone. But...

16. It’s okay to be a people pleaser.


Although I am learning to say no more, I still strive to please everyone I can. I like making people happy, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

17. Everything will be okay.


Hard times happen, find the light at the end of the tunnel and follow it. It’s just a bad day, not a bad life.

18. Social media is not the most important thing.

In the age of technology, I realize that social media is necessary and even helpful for networking. Scrolling through Twitter isn’t going to help you write the paper that’s probably due at 11:59 PM. Turn your phone on do not disturb, there are more important things than what other people are doing. Focus on what you’re doing, or what you have to do.

19. Patience is a virtue.

This could stem from the three years I have worked in retail, but I am learned just how important it is to have patience. The more patience you have = the less stress you have.

20. Time passes too quickly.

There is never enough time in a day, hours move too quickly. It feels like just yesterday I graduated high school and now I am finishing up my second year in college. Sometimes I think time moves so quickly that I am missing a part of my life, but time flies when you're having fun, right?


In the first two decades of my life I’ve learned some life changing lessons. I’ve accomplished some larger milestones such as walking, riding a bike and doing my taxes (you know, all of that fun stuff). Within the next two decades I hope to accomplish even more. I can not wait to see what the future decades have in store for me. I hope I learn many more lessons, make even more memories and live life to its fullest.






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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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